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December 16 2011

Today's blog discusses giving modern CSS to IE8, my site's browser usage stats, and Dell leaving the netbook market.

css3pie: Improves CSS for older Internet Explorer releases

I discovered a tool today called css3pie which gives older releases of Internet Explorer better CSS3 compatibility. It works really great; my site now gives Internet Explorer 8 users the complete design instead of a degraded version of the page.

The only issue it has on this site is that there is a "flash" for a couple of seconds on netbooks, during which the image of me at the top is a solid color instead of the picture. This isn't an issue on mainstream computers, just slower netbooks.

I have decided to only use css3pie to shoehorn in modern CSS for Internet Explorer 8 users; there's a greater chance IE7 and IE6 users are using older computers that are really too slow to be using fancy javascript to give them modern browser CSS. I'll continue to give them the degraded design that looks good in IE7 and is perfectly usable in IE6.

Browser usage stats

It looks like most people going to my web site are using modern browsers to access its content. Here are recent stats:

Webkit (Safari and Chrome): 31.2%
Firefox: 42.1%
Opera: 4.9%
IE: 18.9% (IE6 2.47% IE7 3.43% IE8 8.99% IE9 4.24%)

(The numbers add up to 97%; the other 3% are mainly robots crawling the site and what not.)

With the css3pie update, only 6% of users are getting a degraded version of the web site; everyone else is getting the current design. This minority is getting a web site with a perfectly usable (and even attractive for the 3.5% or so using IE7), albeit degraded design.

Further shrinking of the netbook market

Not only is Samsung pulling out of the netbook market, but Dell has (mostly) stopped selling netbooks. With the netbook fad fading away, it looks like the companies who merely rode on the bandwagon are moving on.

The netbook itself isn't going anywhere; ASUS still plans on releasing the 1025C and 1025CE netbooks which will use Intel's next-generation Atom CPUs, albeit not until next year.

Personally, I think Dell is making a mistake leaving the low-end netbook market, just as they made a mistake giving up on the Adamo line of ultrathin notebooks before they had a chance to catch on. If Dell had not given up on the Adamo, they would now have a head-start with the current "ultrabook" trend.

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